Erik Odiin Via Unsplash

Stop Living Your Life In Transit

A brief discussion on the pitfalls of obsession with the process

“Don’t be so immersed in the journey that you miss your stop!”

I always talk about the fact that it’s important to enjoy the journey. To enjoy the process.

But seeing as us humans tend to be ridiculous, we do things to ridiculous degrees.

The reason we get involved with things to such ridiculous degrees is the simple fact that we are prone to self-sabotage. We have the tendency to over complicate things. We have a self-saboteur deep within us. This entity latches on to platitudes like:

“Life is all about the journey.”


“Get obsessed with the process!”

The above statements are useful within the proper context.

But the above statements also give the inner sabotage free reign to indulge in busy work that gets us nowhere.

Mental masturbation is a huge problem for most of us.

How many times have we said that we were going to do something such as build a project, work on our business, start a blog, only to masturbate to success porn?

One such example is people who need to read a book before doing anything at all. People who want to get in shape are notorious for this. They read every fitness book along with every fitness blog they can find and before you know it they’ve gotten nowhere.

The above illustrates examples of how we get stuck in analysis paralysis but there is another problem that many of us become inundated with: living life in indefinite transit.

Heres a question, when traveling, are you looking forward to the destination or the many hours of sitting on the plane waiting to reach your destination?

Do you sit in the airport during a long layover saying to yourself:

“Gee, I sure am looking forward to not arriving?!”

Of course not. We want to arrive and enjoy the moment while at our destination. We all have this feeling to satisfy our anticipated enjoyment.

It’s the same with self-improvement and success. We want to ARRIVE at our success in order to enjoy it. It’s the reason why we left our origins in the first place.

Some people are so afraid of success that they purposefully engage in the busywork boredom of their so called process without getting anywhere. Living in the liminal space of the process is akin to a hamster running on its wheel.

How To Stop Living Life In Transit

There’s a simple 3 step process to achieving our goals.

1. Think of an idea or something you’d like to accomplish.

2. The process of getting to this achievement.

3. Arrival appreciation.

That’s it. It’s your job to know which step you’re in and for how long you’ve been there so as to not waste time.

Most people don’t even make it past number 1 because they’re stuck in analysis paralysis. Then there’s another rather large litany of people who spend too much time on number 2 while a small minority ever make it to number 3.

If you’re stuck living life in transit do this:

  • Set Goals within goals — you need to be setting daily micro goals that add up to the macro goal. For example, I set up my workout program in such a way that I’m motivated to hit a specific amount of volume each week. This accomplishes two things: it immerses me in the “process” of hitting a micro goal while establishing a time limit. Arriving at that goal produces self-perpetual motivation. In addition, it also allows for me not to get caught up in the long term goal. A trap that many of us fall into which forces us to give up before we even get started.
  • Appreciate your past accomplishments — Don’t get caught up in what you want to accomplish, appreciate what you’ve accomplished thus far. This is especially true for these times where we are forced to stay still due to this pandemic. You may be sitting there thinking about all of the things you’ve planned to accomplish this year only to be set back majorly. You’re thinking about the fact that you won’t be able to get those things done because you’re process has been interrupted. Remember that everything you have now is what you always wanted at some point. Gratitude is the super power. Also, remember that you don’t have to always be DOING something. The “process” is an excuse for many to do something just for the sake of doing it.

Realize That Your Process Is An Excuse To Wait

I hate waiting. I have always been an ambitious person. Despite the fact that I’ve always been a go getter, I knew how to differentiate between busy work and productive work.

The “journey” is just a sophisticated way of waiting.

At one point, I realized I hated my cushy union job. Making excuses as to why I couldn’t quit, I stayed until I got increasingly miserable. That place chipped away at my soul little by little. I was waiting. Until I stopped waiting.

I quit then started my own venture. I stopped waiting!

The problem with words like “process” and “journey” is that they are liminal. They are neither here nor there. These words exist in indefinite anticipation.

While being immersed in non-sensible busy work, these words justify the amount of waiting we have and are doing.

Don’t be so immersed in the journey that you miss your stop!

I write at the intersection of leadership, self-improvement and psychology. |

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